2015 Tenancy Standard

Allocations and reciprocal trade 

Licensed providers must rent their properties in a reasonable, open, and timely manner. They must consider the housing needs and desires of current and prospective tenants. They’ll show how their lettings work by: 

(a) make the best use of available housing (b) are consistent with the housing’s intent (c) contribute to the strategic housing role of local governments and the development of sustainable communities 

The submission, decision-making, and appeals procedures should all be transparent. 

Registered providers must provide their tenants with access to internet-based mutual exchange services that enable them to exchange their tenancy with that of another tenant. 

Registered providers must have tenancies or terms of occupation that are consistent with the purpose of the accommodation, individual household needs, community sustainability, and productive use of their housing stock. 

In terms of the mode and use of lease agreements or terms of occupation, they must comply with all relevant legislative and legal standards. 

Specific goals and objectives 

Registered providers must work with local governments’ strategic housing functions and fulfill their responsibilities in order to meet defined local housing needs. This involves assisting city governments with their homelessness responsibilities and fulfilling nominations agreements’ commitments. 

Within the resources available to them, registered providers must build and provide programs to resolve under-occupation and overcrowding in their homes. These programs should be tailored to the needs of their tenants and provide them with options. 

The use of common housing registers, common allocations plans, and local letting policies must all be recorded in the policies of registered providers. Registered providers must explicitly state the requirements they use to exclude current and prospective tenants from consideration for allocations, mobility, or shared exchange schemes, and be able to justify their decisions. 

Registered providers must design and deliver allocations systems in such a way that they can be used effectively by a wide variety of current and future tenants, including those with special needs, those who do not speak English as a first language, and those who have difficulty writing in English. 

Registered providers must keep properties as empty as possible between lettings. They must consider the conditions of the tenants who have been offered the properties while doing so. 

As mandated by the Continuous Recording of Lettings (CORE) scheme, registered providers must keep track of all lettings and sales. 

Tenants who want to transfer must have access to straightforward and appropriate advice about their housing choices from registered providers. 

Registered providers must subscribe to an internet-based collective sharing service (or pay individual tenants’ subscriptions) that allows them to: 

(a) a tenant can register for a mutual exchange through the mutual exchange service without having to pay a charge. 

(b) the occupant to provide information about their current property as well as their expectations for the shared exchange property they intend to receive. 

(c) the tenant should be given the property information of any properties where a match is found. 

Registered providers must ensure that the provider of the internet-based mutual exchange service to which they subscribe is a signatory to an agreement, such as HomeSwap Direct, that allows tenants to search for matches across all (or as many) internet-based mutual exchange services as possible. 

Registered providers must take appropriate measures to inform their tenants about the availability of any shared exchange service(s) to which they subscribe. 

Registered providers must provide tenants who do not have internet access fair assistance in using the service. 

Occupation 

Registered providers must publish transparent and easily accessible policies outlining their approach to tenancy management, including measures to maintain tenancies and avoid unnecessary evictions, as well as addressing tenancy fraud, and must include the following: 

(a) The kinds of tenancies they’ll do. 

(b) In the case of fixed-term tenancies, the duration of such terms. 

(c) The conditions in which they will award a specific form of tenancy. 

(d) Any special cases under which they will issue fixed-term tenancies in general requires accommodation for less than five years after any probationary period. 

(e) The conditions in which they may or may not grant another lease, in the same or a different house, at the end of the fixed period. 

(f) The procedure for a tenant or prospective tenant to appeal or complain about the duration of a fixed-term tenancy offered and the form of tenancy offered, as well as a decision not to grant a new tenancy when the fixed-term tenancy expires. 

(g) Their policy on taking into account the needs of households with children and those who are vulnerable due to age, disability, or illness, including by the provision of tenancies with a fair degree of stability. 

(h) The assistance and guidance they can provide tenants in seeking alternative housing if they decide not to grant another tenancy. 

In addition to any probationary tenancy period, registered providers must grant general needs tenants a periodic secure or guaranteed (excluding periodic assured shorthold) tenancy, or a tenancy for a minimum fixed term of five years, or, in extraordinary circumstances, a tenancy for a minimum fixed term of no less than two years. 

Before a fixed-term tenancy expires, licensed providers must give the tenant written notice indicating whether they intend to offer another tenancy at the end of the current fixed-term tenancy or that they intend to terminate the tenancy. 

When licensed providers use probationary tenancies, they must be for a maximum of 12 months, or 18 months if there are grounds for extending the probationary period and the tenant has the option to request a review. 

When licensed providers want to rent homes on fixed-term tenancies (including Affordable Rent terms), they must give fair advice and assistance to tenants when the tenancy expires. 

Registered providers must ensure that the home is occupied by the occupant they let it to for the period of the lease, in compliance with the provisions of the applicable tenancy agreement, taking into account regulatory requirements regarding participation in shared exchange schemes. 

Registered providers must create and provide programs that help tenants keep their tenancies and avoid unnecessary evictions. 

Registered providers must give those who were social housing tenants on the day that section 154 of the Localism Act 2011 took effect and have remained social housing tenants since that date a tenancy with no less protection if they want to transfer to another social rented home, whether with the same or a different landlord. (This provision does not extend to tenants who want to move to Affordable Rent housing.) 

Registered providers must provide tenants who have been relocated to new housing as a result of redevelopment or other works with a tenancy with no less protection of tenure when they return to their original residence.

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